Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Puff-faced mud snake

Homalopsis buccata, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

(In Thai: งูหัวกะโหลก, ngu hua galog)

Puff-faced Water Snake or Masked Water Snake (Homalopsis buccata) is a species of snake found in Asia.


Inter nasals smaller than prefrontals; frontal often broken up into small shields, a little broader or sometimes narrower than the supraocular; parietals short; loreal present, sometimes divided; one or two pre- and two postoculars; one to three suboculars may be present; temporals small; ten to twelve upper labials, fifth or sixth entering the eye or narrowly separated from it; two or three pair of chin-shields, inner in contact with the three anterior lower labials. Scales in 37–47 rows; ventrals 158–176; anal divided; subcaudals 70–106.

Dark brown above, with narrow, pale brown, black-edged transverse bands, in young specimens yellow; head pale with a triangular or V-shaped dark marking on the snout, a A-shaped spot on the occiput, and a dark band on each side passing through the eye and extending to before the eye. Lower surface white or yellowish, with dark brown spots along each side; tail with brown spots. Length of head and body 820 mm.; tail 230 mm. Eats fish and frogs.


  • Bangladesh; Myanmar, Cambodia; Thailand; Vietnam;
  • Indonesia (Bangka, Belitung, Borneo, Java, Kalimantan, Riau Archipelago, Sulawesi, Sumatra);
  • Laos; W Malaysia (Malaya); Singapore;
  • NE India; Nepal; Pulau Bangka

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Scientific classification

Homalopsis buccata

Common names

  • German: Boa-Wassertrugnatter
  • English:
    • Puff-faced mud snake
    • Linne’s water snake
    • Masked water snake
    • Puff-faced water snake
  • Thai:
    • งูหัวกะโหลก, ngu hua galog
    • งูเหลือมอ้อ, ngu leuam oor


  • Homalopsis buccata, John C. Murphy & Harold K. Voris (2014)
  • Homalopsis buccata, Nguyen Van Sang et al. (2009)
  • Homalopsis buccata, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Homalopsis buccata, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Homalopsis buccatus, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Homalopsis buccata, Hermann Schlegel (1837)
  • Homalopsis monilis, Friedrich Boie (1827)
  • Homalopsis horridus, Heinrich Kuhl & Johan Coenraad van Hasselt (1822)
  • Coluber horridus, François Marie Daudin (1803)
  • Vipera buccata, François Marie Daudin (1803)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


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Homalopsis buccata

Public domain Nelly de Rooij

Homalopsis buccata

Range Map

Distribution map of Puff-faced mud snake, Homalopsis buccata in Thailand
  • Betong District, Yala
  • Khok Pho District, Pattani
  • Mueang Narathiwat District, Narathiwat
  • Na Mom District, Songkhla
  • Su-ngai Kolok District, Narathiwat
  • Tak Bai District, Narathiwat
Range map of Homalopsis buccata in Thailand